Sunday, February 28, 2010

My List of Seven

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend. We had a busy day yesterday with a friend’s wedding, so today is a quiet day at home. Last week was another good mail week with my little embroidered heart that Tina made me arriving. It is hanging in my study where I can enjoy it as I blog.

For today's post, the lovely Janette over at
My Sweet Prints has tagged me to join in with the fun of listing 7 facts about myself so here goes…

1. I love being a stay-at-home Mum – I look forward to each day I spend with my precious little Grace and enjoy being a ‘homemaker’.

2. I am a teacher – I am currently on maternity leave from my position but before having Grace, I taught in a small primary school. I used to enjoy thinking of exciting lessons to do with my students and always tried to make learning fun.

3. I have really neat handwriting - People always comment on how it looks like it’s been typed, I guess it comes from being a school teacher :)

4. I am hopeless at knitting – My Nanna tried teaching me when I was a young girl. My project was a hot-water bottle cover for my Mum for Mothers Day. My Nanna ended up buying me a cover to give my Mum instead!!

5. I once did surfing lessons – After saying for years that my goal was to one day learn to surf, my lovely husband (then fiancĂ©) booked me in for lessons as a Christmas present. I convinced him to sign up too and we had great fun learning together.

6. I always have painted toenails - I always stick to pearly, natural tones. A few weeks ago I gave red polish a try and it just wasn't me at all.

7. I love the Harry Potter books – I first read these novels when I was teaching to see what all my students were fussing about. I soon became hooked. I think J.K.Rowling is such a talented writer.

I’m going to pass this task on to Sarah, Catherine and Catherine. Please don’t feel obliged to join in, but we’d love to learn 7 new things about each of you…

Friday, February 26, 2010

Homely One House Tour - The Patio

Time for some outdoor shots today. Our patio is the newest renovation we have carried out. Our biggest issue in this space was the ‘garden bed’, otherwise known as the ‘sand patch’ which ran along the windows of the house. With Asha, this sand became a real nuisance as she would lie in it and drag it all over the pavers, causing them to look dirty (not that they were attractive paving bricks in the first place). Here are some shots of the old area...

We did contemplate decking, but as our priority was for something hardwearing and also low maintenance, we stuck with the clay bricks. We repaved right up to the windows in a darker, more uniform shade which seems to flow on better from our floorboards inside to create a more seemless look. We also replaced the old, discoloured roof sheeting and a few sagging beams before Paul gave it all a fresh coat of paint.

Once again, some homely touches are needed out here. I would love a cute pot with some pretty flowers for the table and in the corner where the potplants are, I am picturing a deck chair like the ones from Ici et La where I could relax with a cuppa and a magazine. What lovely things do you have in your own outdoor areas that create that ‘homely’ feel?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Homely One House Tour – The Ensuite

Sorry for the boring pictures - our ensuite is still a work in progress plus it was very tricky trying to take photos in such a small space!!

Thanks to everyone for all your ideas and feedback on my kitchen post. The second hideous space in our house that has been made-over is our ensuite. Previously, it comprised of dark brown mosaic floor tiles, eighties looking wall tiles, a cream toilet and shower screen and a dated vanity which was literally falling apart inside which meant that all our toiletries were ‘on display’.

Here’s some before shots….

As with the kitchen, we kept to the original layout (which was probably the most functional option in this small space anyway). We went for a semi-frameless shower screen, new chrome fittings and a white vanity and toilet. Our wall tiles are simple white ones and the floor tiles are dark grey.

At the moment, the only colour in this space is provided by the blue towels. However, I am thinking of eventually changing from blue to hits of an icy, aqua green. As with the kitchen, the ensuite now needs some homely touches so I am on the hunt for some artwork and some odds and ends to display in order to finish off the room.

The old mission brown security screens will one day be updated, but in the meantime, I am going to look into window treatments which should hide them a bit. However, I’m unsure which option to go for in a bathroom. Whatever I choose will also be used in our other bathroom and laundry. I like the look of venetian blinds but have heard they can be a pain to keep clean. What type of window treatments do you have in your bathroom that you would recommend?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homely One House Tour - The Kitchen

Seeing as I already posted a few kitchen photos last week, I thought I’d start with this part of our house for the Homely One House Tour. Our kitchen has probably undergone the biggest transformation of all the areas in our home. When we moved in, it was functional but not at all attractive – ugly face bricks, dark brown cupboards, chunky cream benchtops, a dated oven and stove and dated wall and floor tiles (see before shots below)...

While we kept to the same layout when renovating, the addition of new timber flooring, cupboards, tiles, downlights and benchtops has made a huge difference. It is amazing how much lighter and brighter this space is now. As for the meals area, we have since replaced the old security screens with the new ‘invisible mesh’ style ones and the window frames are charcoal grey instead of mission brown.

I love our kitchen, but it really needs some homely touches added to it. The wall above the oven/stove needs something but I’m not quite sure what exactly. I’d also like to make better use of the space above the fridge for a display of some sort. Any suggestions? I’d love your feedback…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homely One House Tour

Over the next week, I am going to write a few posts about the renovations we have done and the changes we have made to our house to date. I will post some before and after shots of the rooms we have put our own touch on since buying our house five years ago and will share further plans for projects we have yet to begin. Hopefully I will be able to get your ideas and input into each space too.

Stay tuned...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Aqua Attraction

While blue has always been a favourite colour of mine, lately I've been finding myself drawn to shades of aqua and turquoise. I'd love to introduce some of this colour into our house. Here are some images that have recently caught my eye...

Image #1 via simple tess
Image #2 and #4 via sfgirlbybay
Image #3 source unknown
Image #6 via House of Turquoise

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Happenings

Hope you have all had a lovely start to your weekend. I popped out for a coffee with a friend this morning while Paul took Grace and Asha for a walk at the park. The photo above shows a few bits and pieces from my Saturday.

Knowing how fond I am of a good cup of tea, my lovely friend Lyndell gave me the T2 sampler pack when we caught up (a collection of 10 types of loose leaf teas). The red and white packaged gift is for a Kitchen Tea I will be going to tomorrow afternoon (I used some of the vintage lace I had left over from Grace's cushion to pretty it up). The passionfruit is one of a whole bag I have been enjoying which my friend Pip brought me from her vine.

I have finally sewn the bunting for Grace's room and now I just have to work out where and how to hang it. I initially had plans of tying it to her cot. However she is so inquistive, I'm frightened it might pose a safety concern there for her curious little fingers and am thinking the windowsill might be a better option.

What lovely things have you all been up to this Saturday?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Necklace

I finally got around to ordering some jewellery from Elk Accessories. From the pieces I had been considering, I ended up ordering the drop pendant as I like the idea of it being adjustable.

My package arrived last week and was one of the loveliest wrapped online purchases I have ever received. I'm really pleased with the necklace I chose.

How about you? What lovely packages have you received in the mail lately?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kitchen Love

This week’s My Place & Yours theme (chosen by Nic and Tracy) is to share what you love about your kitchen. This topic is quite ironic as without knowing, I had taken a whole bunch of photos of our kitchen on Saturday for an upcoming series of posts I have planned.

Our kitchen has had quite a makeover from how it was when we first moved in (more on that at a later date when I show you some before and after shots). One of the things I love most about it is the huge bench. Not only is it great for preparing meals as I can spread everything I need out in front of me, it is also great for parties and entertaining. Being part of an open plan living area, I love that I can be working away at our kitchen bench while chatting away to Grace who will watch me happily from her high chair.

The other part of my kitchen that I love is the pantry door which is strange as this was the original door before we renovated. We were going to replace it when we re-did our kitchen with a more solid panel but instead decided to give it a fresh lick of paint. I’m really happy we kept it – I really like the slatted door and feel that it adds a bit of character to the area.

To see others’ kitchens, head over to Punky & Me

Sunday, February 14, 2010

All You Need Is Love

For a little bit of Valentine’s Day inspiration today, here’s some of my favourite images of all things ‘love’ related. Hope you have a lovely day.

Image sources: #1 here #2 here #3 unknown #4 here #5 here

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Glass Bottles Giveaway

Here’s another giveaway I’d like to share with you all. I discovered Lou’s blog Vintage by Lou Lou recently via Simone. Lou has an ebay store full of a whole range of delightful items I’d love to own. Her blog is equally lovely and at the moment she has a giveaway you can enter to win the lovely French inspired glass bottles above. Head on over to her blog here to enter. Good luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In My Handbag

This week’s My Place and Yours theme was picked by The Textured Leaf and she has asked those joining in to share the contents of their handbags.

After initially stuffing full the large bag I’d bought to act as a ‘nappy bag’ when Grace arrived, I’ve reverted back to my old handbag and now keep as many ‘baby items’ as possible in the car. My handbag carries only my essential items being…
  • My wallet – a cute one I found at Strandbags recently for only $11
  • My phone – nothing fancy, just the same old Nokia I’ve had forever
  • Diary – it initially had a really ugly cover so on the weekend, I recovered it in some cute polka dot paper
  • Notebook and Pen – my sister bought me this French looking notebook for my birthday last year. The pen is extra special as my Dad bought it for me on one of his holidays and now whenever I use it, I remember him.
  • Body Shop hemp hand cream
  • Clinique lip gloss (a mini sample I received)
  • Camera – I bought this cute Mozi case to keep it in (it’s actually an iPod cover but it fits my Canon perfectly)
  • Home Beautiful magazine – not usually in my bag but I’d just been to the post office and bought this while I was there

My keys are also usually in my bag but I’d hung them up on the key hook as soon as I walked in the door and my sunglasses were also missing as they were on my head when I took the photo.

To have a spy in other people’s handbags, have a look here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Great Giveaways

Image from here

There are a few fantastic giveaways I’ve come across on blogs lately that I’d like to share with you all...

First up is Ness from Marley and Lockyer – the winner of her giveaway gets to choose two cushion covers of their choice from her gorgeous Etsy store and also receives some of her lovely clay mini tags. For details, head on over to her blog here.

Secondly, my lovely blogging friend Anna from Lona de Anna is giving away the gorgeous earrings below to one lucky person. These earrings were made by Anna herself and would be such a versatile piece of jewellery to own. Head on over to her blog here to find out all the details.

Wishing you all good luck!!

Image from here

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homelife Website Inspiration

I don’t know how it is that’s I’ve not come across this fabulous website before, but now that I have, it’s a definite favourite. Homelife is full of some great interior inspiration. I’m sure you’re all already familiar with it, but if not, head over there for some great image galleries, ideas, creative projects and 'how to' tutorials. Here are a few of my favourite images from the site...

All images from here

P.S If you left a comment on my last post and it didn’t appear, I’m really sorry… I accidentally deleted them :( Was too quick clicking the mouse and before I knew it, I’d pressed the wrong button... oops!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nursery Bits And Pieces

My husband left for his boys’ camping trip the other day, so it’s just Grace and I (and Asha) in our household at the moment. This morning, we headed off to the local markets to see if we could discover any treasures but we only came away with some cute Laura Ashley fabric to use for Grace’s bunting (roll of string-tied fabric in the photo above).

Yesterday, after baking some biscuits, I had a relaxing stint painting while Grace napped, but now that I’m finished, I’m not sure it’s what I’d like for Grace’s room after all (see top right in above photo). Even though Paul isn’t here, I have him in my ear saying, ‘You need to decorate Grace’s room for her, not with things you like.’ I think the yellow pattern is a bit too 'grown-upish' for an 8½ month old and I think I might hunt on Etsy for something a bit more age appropriate instead.

Does anyone else have that dilemma when decorating for children, finding yourself giving in to things that perhaps aren’t to your taste but that you know your little one would like?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Great End To The Week

Don't you love it when your day starts off good and keeps getting better? Well actually, apart from having a broken night's sleep due to poor Grace teething, my good day started last night. Whilst checking a few blogs before bed, I discovered that I had won a giveaway over at the lovely Tina's blog. Can't wait for my little parcel to arrive!

This morning, my lovely husband surprised me with a bunch of flowers. Then, while Grace and I were running a few errands at the shops, I found a casual top I liked (in a store I've never bought from before) reduced from $39.95 to $7. Can't believe my bargain!!

To top it off, I'm up to date with all my housework this week which means I have some time this afternoon to relax, so I am hoping to catch up on everyone's blogs and declutter my Google Reader list of its 1000 plus items!! I'm also hoping to work on a simple little painting for Grace's room and to frame and hang the cute card in the photo above in our laundry. Hope you all have a great end to the week too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kanvas Interior Artwork

One of my favourite pieces of artwork in our house is the canvas above our bed. I had my eye on this piece for a while when my wonderful husband surprised me and bought it as a gift a few Christmases back.

Kanvas is a Perth based company who have an extensive range of stretched canvas artworks, each of which is available in a range of colour options and sizes. If you see a design you like but not the colour you are after, they will even custom match colours for you. Due to their popularity, their range has extended to also include rugs, lampshades, wallpaper and outdoor art. Best of all, shipping is free for those living in Australia.

I love browsing through the different pieces of wall art on the Kanvas online shop which you can check out for yourself here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Family Holiday

Hope everyone’s weekends were lovely ones. I’ve been missing from my blog for a few days as on Friday we went on a little family holiday to our favourite town away from home, Denmark. Paul is on holidays, so before he heads off on his boys’ camping trip to the ‘middle of nowhere’, the three of us are having some quality time together.

Denmark is about a 4 hour drive south of Perth and Grace did well on her first long car ride. Whilst there, we visited one of our favourite swimming bays, Greens Pool. We also spent some time wandering around the town looking at all the little shops and had morning tea at the Old Butter Factory where we also bought a piece of original artwork titled 'Walk With Me' from the gallery.

It was so nice to get away for a few days and spend some time relaxing, away from the usual day to day routine. Now I’m looking forward to catching up on everyone else’s blogs to see what they’ve been up to while I’ve been away…